Thursday, July 21, 2016

Best Locations For A Bird Feeder

From Southern States

Eastern Male Bluebird at Heated Birdbath in Winter
To have a successful bird-feeding experience, you'll want to choose the best locations for your feeders. Finding the best spots requires a bit more consideration than you might expect. You'll want to think about the types of birds you want to attract and place feeders for the birds' maximum comfort and safety. You may also be able to "tweak" your landscape, making your backyard even more attractive to birds.

Read on for general recommendations, how to help birds avoid cats and other threats and how location can help prevent competition from the bird-feeding enthusiast's greatest nemesis—the squirrel.
General recommendations

Obviously, you'll want to place the feeders where you can view the birds. A location where you can easily access the feeders for cleaning, refilling and maintenance is ideal. To avoid unduly disturbing the birds, keep feeders away from areas where pets or children play.

When using multiple bird feeders, University of Florida wildlife specialists recommend placing them in various locations throughout your yard. Some birds prefer to feed near vegetative cover and some prefer feeding in more open areas; a diversity of locations will encourage a more diverse population of birds. In addition, multiple locations will help spread out the birds; if aggressive birds are crowding a particular feeder, less aggressive species will have a chance to feed at other locations.

Placing feeders at different heights will also help attract a variety of species. Audubon experts recommend low platform feeders for ground-feeding birds, hopper or tube feeders for shrub and treetop feeders and suet feeders located well off the ground for woodpeckers, nuthatches and chickadees.

For best results, place bird feeders at different heights throughout your yard.

Example of ground feeders:

Sparrows
Juncos
Towhees

Shrub/mid-height feeders include:

Finches
Cardinals

Examples of tree feeders:

Chickadees
Titmice
Woodpeckers

Windows

Window collisions cause millions of bird deaths each year. Birds can see the outdoors reflected in windows and fly into them when startled. Male birds also may see themselves reflected in the window and attack, thinking they see a rival bird.

To help prevent this, you'll want to locate feeders either very close or far away from windows, especially large picture windows. Millikin University and Cornell University experts say moving bird feeders to within three feet of a window greatly reduces the number of fatal collisions associated with bird-feeding activities. Birds that take off as little as six feet from a window could be flying at top speed in a collision. Otherwise, place feeders away from windows or consider using decals to help birds see them better; Milikin experts recommend using several decals on large windows.
Cats and other predators

You'll want to place your feeders at least 15 feet from bushes or other cover. This is close enough to give birds an escape route if attacked from overhead by a predator bird. At the same time, 15 feet is enough distance to prevent cats from hiding in bushes and pouncing on birds at the feeder.

The common household cat may be the most serious predator of songbirds. Cats kill millions of birds every year. Merely placing a bell on a cat's collar won't prevent it from killing birds. University of Florida wildlife specialists recommend that you keep cats inside, or at least keep them inside in the mornings, when birds do most of their feeding. Don't feed stray cats and discourage them from lingering on your property.
Squirrels

Squirrels display an uncanny ability to find their way into bird feeders. Placing feeders at least 10 to 15 feet away from trees or limbs where squirrels could jump onto the feeders will help cut down on problems. In areas with a lot of squirrels, it's probably advisable to purchase squirrel-proof feeders or use a squirrel baffle on pole-mounted feeders. Note: If you store your bird food outside, use metal containers; squirrels can chew through plastic and wood.

Hummingbird feeders

Place hummingbird feeders in a shady spot to help the nectar solution from spoiling too quickly in the hot sun. Also, choose a spot that's not too windy to avoid spills.

Landscaping

You can modify your landscape to enhance the attractiveness of your feeder locations. A landscape with a diversity of plant species and heights will generally attract more birds than large swaths of open lawn. Plants provide cover, perches and nesting areas for birds. Ground-feeding birds may appreciate loosely stacked brush piles near feeders for cover. You may even consider converting part of your lawn to natural meadow grasses and plants or allowing parts of your land to go to natural vegetation, which will provide additional food and cover for birds. When planning landscaping projects, use plants native to your area.

In addition, a water source or birdbath will provide opportunities for birds to drink and bathe, and birdhouses may help attract many birds that will then eat at your feeders.

For more tips on landscaping and other questions about feeding your backyard feathered friends, consult your local Cooperative Extension service, feed supply store or chapter of the Audubon Society.
Sources:

Sources

“Where to put Your Birdfeeder.” Accessed on the “All About Birds” Web site maintained by the staff of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Accessed May 10, 2010 at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=1182

“Feeder Location.” Web page maintained by the National Audubon Society. Accessed May 10, 2010 at: http://www.audubon.org/bird/at_home/bird_feeding/feeder_location.html

“Backyard Bird Feeding.” A Web page maintained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Accessed May 10, 2010 at: http://library.fws.gov/Bird_Publications/feed.html#14

“Prevent Bird-Window Collisions.” A Web site maintained by the National Bird-Feeding Society (NBFS) and Millikin University. Accessed May 10, 2010 at: http://www.birdfeeding.org/best-backyard-bird-feeding-practices/bird-safety/prevent-bird-window-collisions.html

“Birdfeeders: What to Consider When Selecting.” Publication No. WEC 162. Mark E. Hostetler, Wildlife Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, Dept. of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation; Martin B. Main, Associate Professor, Dept. of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation; Maena Voigt, graduate student, Dept. of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida. Accessed May 9, 2010 at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw192

“Feeding Wild Birds.” Publication No. 420-006. Peter T. Bromley and Aelred D. Geis. Virginia Cooperative Extension. Accessed May 9, 2010 at: http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/420/420-006/420-006.html


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What Is Your Heart Full Of?

by Clint Byars at Forward Ministries

Have you ever been taught that God used words to create the universe? And we're like him so our words are creative as well? That preaches well but it actually was God's spirit that created. His words reflected his beliefs and echoed what his spirit was doing. The same is true for us. Words aren't magic, they don't float out into the world and make things happen. But the intention and beliefs behind words change us and to some degree interact with the world around us.

Some sections of the body of Christ attempt to "say the right things" with no results and then blame God when things go wrong. Have you ever developed a "confession list" only to be disappointed when those confessions didn't manifest?

Ultimately you do get what you confess but the deeper truth is you manifest what you really believe, words are just a reflection. If you don't believe in your heart what you're saying/confessing you're actually reinforcing to your heart that you don't believe what you're saying and as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Words alone do very little. For confession to produce the realities of God in our lives we must mix his promises in our hearts with faith and reflect that faith in our words.

When there is a conflict between your beliefs and your words, your beliefs will manifest and create confusion. Learn to get in touch with what you believe in your heart and replace those wrong beliefs with the truth as revealed in Jesus.

God still creates and builds us up by his spirit to this day. Our part is to get our words into agreement with what his spirit is doing. We know that his spirit is continually affirming that we're his children, his spirit is giving life to our physical bodies, his spirit is leading and guiding us into the practical application of truth and the list goes on. So when we look at the power of our words what we're truly dealing with are the beliefs of our heart.

Luke 6:45 NIV - A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

The first half of James chapter 3 deals acutely with our tongue and our words. James knows the dominion of mankind and is seeking to encourage believers to use their words properly; for blessing and not cursing, for building up and not complaining, for maturity and not carelessness.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

A better structuring of that sentence in modern day English looks like this, "You will eat the fruit of what your tongue loves to empower, whether it be life or death."

Yes, words are important. I want you to learn to pay attention to what you say in different situations because you will discover what you believe. Jesus said all things are possible to those who believe. If your words aren't reflecting this truth, don't just try to say the right thing, take some time to meditate on his promises until faith comes alive in your heart and you receive the grace to walk out the promises you say you believe.

Your mouth is speaking what your heart is full of. Listen to yourself and discover what you really believe.

I encourage you to take a little time to listen to this free message on taming your tongueTaming the Tongue audio



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Cortisol Secretion and the Adrenal Gland

The adrenals (which secrete coritsol) are known as the stress glands, but they are responsible for dozens of functions in the body. Two important things to remember when it comes to weight management are that the adrenal glands regulate the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, as well as produce fight or flight hormones.
Adrenaline is the hormone you feel rushing through your body after a near-miss accident on the highway, or when you thought the police car with its lights flashing behind you wanted you to pull over, only to zoom by for someone else.

When you merely think something is threatening you (an internal stressor) or something is threatening you that is externally driven, the adrenals prepare you for battle. When your adrenal glands are under constant stress they become exhausted, leading to adrenal imbalance.

Cortisol

Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that maintains blood sugar, reduces inflammation, supports the immune system, maintains blood pressure, and regulates how our body uses stores of fuel sources.

Cortisol is low during relaxation; however, when activated by short bursts of stress it increases energy, heightens memory, maintains stable emotions, and lowers sensitivity to pain – all really great things when we are fending for our life in a fight or flight situation.

Problems with excess cortisol secretion occur when the body perceives frequent stress and cortisol levels increase in the body, staying high for too long. This results in:

loss of bone and muscle mass
thinning of skin
decreased ability to build protein
fluid retention
weakened immune response
spiking blood sugar levels
weight gain

Support for the Adrenals

Research shows that one reason to eat enough calories when dieting is that calorie restriction increases cortisol levels because the body regards “famine” as a threat. In addition, diets high in refined carbohydrates and low in protein also contribute to adrenal burnout, as does caffeine and alcohol.

So make sure you are getting adequate calories, and integrate one of the products below to support your adrenal glands if you experience ongoing stress in life.

Adrenal Fatigue Supplements

Adrenal Support is formulated with a unique adrenal glandular substance, along with a synergistic blend of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and adaptogenic herbs specially formulated to nourish and strengthen the adrenal glands and to promote glandular secretion.

One of the herbs in Adrenal Support is the adaptogenic herb, Licorice Root. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress. The University of Maryland Medical Center website reports that in one study people took 900 mg of licorice root for 8 weeks and had decreases in body fat, body weight, and body mass index. Licorice is used to help nourish the adrenal glands and promote blood sugar balance. Its history is rich, and has used extensively in Chinese medicine to balance other herbs and promote vitality.


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Monday, July 11, 2016

How To Be A Giant Killer

by Andrew Wommack

Whatever problem you’re facing today—whether in your finances, in your health, in your marriage, or wherever—your problem is not bigger than what David faced. He had to deal with a real, live giant. And the qualities God instilled in David that enabled him to succeed will work for you too.

You’ve probably heard the story of David defeating Goliath, but have you applied these same principles to your giant? One of the foundational truths that enabled David to face this giant was that he viewed the whole situation through God’s covenant:

"What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"  1 Samuel 17:26

David’s reference to Goliath being uncircumcised was pointing out that Goliath didn’t have any covenant rights like he did. In fact, every Israelite soldier was one of God’s covenant people, but they didn’t act like it. Likewise, all true believers have covenant rights to health, prosperity, joy, peace, etc., but not all look at their circumstances through the covenant.

These Israelite soldiers were looking at Goliath and not at God’s promises. The Lord had promised them that no man would be able to stand before them (Deut. 11:25). Goliath was a man. He was a big man but a man nonetheless. While others only saw the giant, David kept his attention on the promises of God.

When David voiced his faith in the covenant of God despite the circumstances, he began to be criticized by his brother and others:

"And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. [29] And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? [30] And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner."  1 Samuel 17:28-30

David could have tried to justify himself to his oldest brother. It was at his father’s command that he had left the sheep and come to bring gifts to his brothers. But even if David had won the argument, he would have lost his opportunity to defeat Goliath. It was only after he turned from his brother and repeated his statements of faith that someone heard what he said and told Saul, Israel’s king.

You might face opposition, even from family members, when you start communicating what God has put in your heart, but you need to take this stance like David did, saying, “Is there not a cause?” Ask yourself, “Is the thing I want victory over worth fighting for?” If it is, then you have a cause greater than what others think.

Even the king tried to talk David out of what was in his heart: He spoke of David’s inexperience and size compared to Goliath’s. But look at David’s reply—

"Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: [35] And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. [36] Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. [37a] David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine."  1 Samuel 17:34-37a

He began to rehearse to King Saul the victories the Lord had given him. Had David not been faithful with the few sheep the Lord had given him to keep on the backside of the desert, he never would have been able to stand up to Goliath. Many want to win against the giants when the grandstands are full, but few will be faithful in the little things God gives them when no one is watching. If we aren’t faithful in that which is least, we won’t be given more (Luke 16:10-12).

David’s faith and confidence in the Lord convinced King Saul to let him represent Israel and go fight Goliath. This was a miracle in itself. If David lost, all the Israelites would become slaves to the Philistines. I think Saul recognized the anointing of God upon David. Saul had once operated under that anointing and knew how powerful it was. So, he let David go, but he tried to put his armor on him:

"And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. [39] And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him."  1 Samuel 17:38-39

This happens all the time. People will tell you your faith in God won’t overcome your giants. But if you persist, then they will try to give you their advice on how to fight the battle. That’s what Saul did. He wanted to give David his armor. But why should David put his faith in Saul’s armor? It hadn’t done anything for Saul. Saul was fearful of Goliath just like all the rest. David was wise to stick with what had already been proven in his life.

Next, David had to endure the mockery of his enemy, Goliath. Listen to what the giant said:

"And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. [43] And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. [44] And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field."  1 Samuel 17:42-44

Don’t think that just because you’re armed with what God has given you that the giants in your life will be intimidated by you. But you’ve got to be bold and stand strong in the face of the enemy, like David did:

"Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. [46] This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. [47] And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands."  1 Samuel 17:45-47

But David wasn’t all talk! Look what he did when Goliath approached him:

"David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine."  1 Samuel 17:48b

The Spirit of the Lord was on David; he wasn’t afraid! He rushed at this giant. You know, your attitude toward your giants will be very telling when it’s time to face them. If you really believe the promises of God, you won’t run from a fight—you will run to it. Do you really believe what God said or not? Are you all talk? The giants are going to test what God has put in you.

Of course, you know the story. David used his sling and a stone to bring the giant down.

"But there was no sword in the hand of David. [51a] Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith."  1 Samuel 17:50b-51a

You’ve got to pursue your enemies until they can’t come back! If you read the whole story, the Philistines didn’t flee when Goliath first went down. They were at a far distance and didn’t know exactly what had happened. Goliath could have tripped, or maybe he was just wounded and would get back up and win yet. But when David cut off his head and held it up, all doubt was removed, and the enemy fled.

We sometimes just fight our enemies until they go over the hill. They are left to fight us another day. We only fight sickness until it gets to where it’s not too bad—we can live with the rest. But David pursued his enemies until they were destroyed. They could never come back to fight him. First Samuel 30:10-18 is a good example of this, where David pursued the Amalekites until he had recovered all he had lost.

People don’t like to face giants, but David wouldn’t have been a hero if he had slain a midget. The giants in your life are actually great opportunities for God to show Himself strong on your behalf. My greatest tests have become my greatest testimonies. If you don’t have a test, you only have “a mony.”

David’s victory over Goliath catapulted him into his destiny. Likewise, whatever giant you are facing can become the greatest victory in your life as you stand on God’s Word and overcome it. I remember when my son died. It was a terrible thing. But because Jamie and I stood against this giant that tried to take our son, we now have a glorious testimony of his resurrection that we have rubbed the devil’s nose in countless times. Praise God! Your victory is coming too.

I encourage you to get my latest teaching about David. It not only includes all the things I’ve written about in this letter, but it goes into detail about David’s other victories and his defeats too.

David was a man after God’s own heart. He had great highs but very low lows. He’s someone whom all of us can relate to and learn from. It’s better to learn at his expense than from your own hard knocks.

I have a new book out entitled Lessons from David. I also have this teaching on CD as well as in a study guide for discipling others. I’ve seen many people’s lives changed by these truths. My own life has been changed. Yours will be too.

You can call our Helpline at: 719-635-1111 between 4:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. (Mountain Time). Of course, you can always go to our website: www.awmi.net, 24/7.

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The Skinny on Snot – What is Your Snot Telling You?

By Clint Hunter

This information is taken from our webinar “The Skinny on Snot” with Steven Horne, RH (AHG).

Let’s start by answering this question: what is mucus? Mucus is a thin, slippery secretion that coats mucus membranes. It is composed primarily of water with some glycoproteins to thicken it and make it slippery. Mucus also contains inorganic salts, antiseptic enzymes, immunoglobulins and proteins. Some of these compounds are part of the body’s infection-fighting system.

What Mucus Does

It forms a protective coating for the membranes of the respiratory and digestive tract. It also coats urogenital passages and is found in both the eyes and the ears. It protects these tissues from both particulate matter and infection.

Your Inner Skin

Mucus membranes can be thought of as your inner skin. Your body’s first line of defense is its protective barriers: Skin (approximately 2 sq. meters) and your Mucus Membranes (approximately 400 sq. meters). Mucus membranes are the largest surface area of the body and the most vulnerable. This is why mucus is so important that your body produces between one to one and a half liters per day.

Biological Terrain

Biological Terrain – The state of your body’s tissues. One of the easiest ways to see the biological terrain is to take a look at your respiratory membranes or inside your mouth. Herbs work best when applied to restore balance to the biological terrain. It’s easiest to understand biological terrain as it applies to the skin and mucus membranes because the signs of imbalance are more clearly seen.

There are three factors to look at when considering biological terrain. First, the temperature aspect (hot or cold). Hot means the tissue is irritated. It makes the tissue red and warmer in temperature. It is overactive. Cool is when the tissue becomes underactive, loses energy, pale in color. In between those is a pink tissue that has normal activity and is not overly warm or cool.

The second factor is moisture. Moisture has to do with the balance of fluids and solids in the body. Dampness is excess moisture, swollen. Dryness is deficient moisture, hardened mineral and tissue.

The last has to do with the tone of the tissues. When things become too constricted you have a blockage of flow (asthma, for example). Conversely, when tissues become too lax things tend to leak (bleeding, excessive drainage).

You can assess the biological terrain of the mucus membranes by examining:

Mucus drainage from sinuses (blow your nose and see what comes out).
Mucus coughed up from lungs
Coating on the tongue

Normal Mucus

Normal mucus is thin, clear and forms a light coating over all mucus membranes. In the respiratory passages there are hair-like projections called cilia. Cilia sweep mucus from the sinuses to the back of the throat (post-nasal drip) and from the lungs into the throat.

When you have an abundant amount of thin, watery mucus you may have an acute irritation. This means that body has encountered something that is irritating it and is actively trying to flush it away.

White Mucus

White mucus is the sign you are becoming congested. Mucus is thickening and not moving as easily. This can be an early sign of an infection or the result of dehydration. In TCM this is considered “cold” mucus or phlegm. The body is flushing an irritant, but the mucus is congested and is no longer flowing freely. This is a condition of dampness, congestion or stagnation.
Brown Mucus

Brown mucus could be dried blood, but more likely it’s dirt or other materials that got inhaled and trapped in the mucus. That’s your mucus membranes doing their job.

Yellow/Green Mucus

Yellow/Green mucus means white blood cells are at work fighting off an infection. The yellow color is due to spent white blood cells being carried off in the mucus. This is considered “hot” phlegm in TCM. Green snot is caused by the presence of large numbers of neutrophils, which contain a greenish-colored enzyme. This means the immune battle is more serious and the infection could be bacterial, instead of viral. This is also considered “hot” phlegm in TCM.

Red/Pink Mucus

If mucus is red or pink there is blood in the mucus. This means that there is minor bleeding from nasal membranes. It is typically the result of dryness (dehydration) and irritation, but can also be a sign of injury.

Black Mucus

Black mucus can be from smoking or drugs. Otherwise it is a sign of a serious fungal infection. This is a sign to see a doctor right away, if you aren’t already doing so.

Hardened Mucus

Hardened mucus occurs from mucus membranes being dried out due to smoking or dry air. This is a dry condition of the mucus membranes.

Deficient Mucus

Deficient Mucus is a sign of chronic lung problems, often due to smoking, or dehydration. This is a dry condition of the mucus membranes.


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What is the "Monarch Highway"?

From Monarch Joint Highway  

Monarch's Birth Into The World (see chrysalis beside)
Photo: Donna L. Watkins
Branded as the "Monarch Highway," this is an initiative launched in 2015 to create a multi-state partnership bringing together state transportation agencies and other partners along Interstate-35 (I-35) to catalyze conservation actions along the corridor and its neighboring communities that enhance habitat and engage people. The I-35 corridor, or the "Monarch Highway," runs along the central flyway of the monarch migration in the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

This project aims to promote awareness of monarchs and other pollinators and assist individual state efforts to enhance vegetation management practices. The project hopes to serve as a national model for native pollinator habitat restoration along transportation byways through private sector and philanthropic enhancement of state and local activities.

This idea builds upon the past success of the 1995 Prairie Passage Route Partnership formed by the state departments of transportation along I-35. A number of these states remain national leaders in roadside integrated vegetation management and prairie restoration. Reinvigorating the focus on the I-35 corridor will facilitate concentrated regional coordination and action to make a visible difference in working landscapes and communities along the corridor.

The idea for a "Monarch Highway" partnership came from a federal strategy to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators released in 2015. The strategy called for the idea of a "Monarch Highway" along I-35 and directed the U.S. Department of Transportation to work with state departments of transportation to promote pollinator-friendly practices and corridors.

Later in 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and U.S. Department of Transportation organized a summit of state transportation leaders to advance regional and statewide efforts to promote and improve pollinator habitats on transportation rights-of-way, including the "Monarch Highway."

Read FAQs.


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Five Ways to Keep Your Pets Hydrated This Summer

From Aqua Virginia

As humans, we know that we need to drink clean water often, especially during the hot summer months. However, our pets don’t know how much water they should drink and depend on us to provide fresh and clean water for them. 

Since July is National Pet Hydration Awareness month, here are a few tips for keeping your pets happy and hydrated this summer.

Read the entire article.

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